Nkomati Nickel could be an important asset for African Rainbow Minerals (ARM), but it has to weather low nickel prices, find an alternative to the long and complicated process of treating its ore and wait for the legal tussle between its partner Norilsk Nickel and the Botswana government to run its course. ARM, a diversified miner in which billionaire chairman Patrice Motsepe is heavily invested, said in its 2017 full-year results last week that it was worried about the prospects for nickel prices over the next few years and was in discussion with Russia’s Norilsk, its equal partner at the mine, and "various options are being considered". Options These options remain unclear, but ARM CEO Mike Schmidt said Nkomati was a potentially important asset for the company, particularly as demand for minerals used in batteries for electric vehicles, including nickel sulfide, increased as uptake of the vehicles boosted manufacturing of the energy cells. "Provided we can stay in there long enoug...

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